WAUKESHA COUNTY — A Waukesha man who hit and killed a pediatrician riding his bike in Delafield will spend the next three years on probation.
The 73-year-old driver, James Kramp, took a deal and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, disorderly conduct and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, in connection with last year’s crash. Three traffic citations were also added to the case: reckless driving, inattentive driving, and unsafe lane deviation. Originally, he was charged with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.
The charges stem from a crash in June 2018. According to the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office, 57-year-old Dr. Brian Yagoda was riding his bike home from the grocery store when Kramp, who was heading in the same direction struck him.
Emotion filled the courtroom during Kramp’s sentencing Friday morning.
Tyler Sikorcin was shedding tears as he remembered his uncle, Dr. Yagoda.
"He wasn't a person that ever deserved anything bad to happen to him,” Sikorcin said. “He really was the best person that I think I’ll ever know.”
Dr. Yagoda was a beloved pediatrician in the Delafield area, and a man Sikorcin considered a mentor.
“It’s like watching an artist paint a picture. He was amazing at what he did,” Sikorcin said. ”He spent 90 percent of his time at work just making sure he could see as many patients and clients as he could.”
The whole community felt his loss, including Kramp.
"Laughter was always a key feature in our household growing up, but it's different now. The torment of this accident has had a profound effect on my father,” Kramp’s son, Brian said. “He never meant to hurt anyone. Far from it. He’s always been good man, a very giving man, an honest, trustworthy man.”
The impact the tragedy has had on both families was evident, even causing Judge Laura Lau to become emotional.
"While Dr. Yagoda's life was cut short, the amount of people he touched and his legacy is something that even though he's not here, you can't minimize that. To the Kramp family, I’m looking at Mr. Kramp. He's a broken man,” Judge Lau said.
All agreed, no one was going home completely satisfied.
However, Dr. Yagoda's wife, Shirley, hopes some good can come out of this event, as she focuses on changing state laws for senior drivers.
"Help the family members of seniors not have to take the job of taking their license away, have the state do it instead,” she said.
“The community awareness from this event, I think it’s going to eliminate future tragedies. I really do and if there has to be a purpose by this happening, I think that’s what it was,” Judge Lau said.
Since Dr. Yagoda’s death, his family has made it their mission to make roads safer for bicyclists, even raising enough money to pave the gravel shoulder of the road he was riding that day.
Kramp voluntarily gave up his driver's license before his sentencing.